Monday, July 27, 2009

Smart Snacking

Snacking is something I tend to do a lot. I am consistently teased by my friends for my bag of snacks or protein bars that I carry everywhere I go. Funny thing is...I end up sharing my snacks with everyone since they suddenly realize they are hungry when they see me eating.
Snacking can become a way of life if you have blood sugar issues like I do.

Even if you don't have blood sugar issues you can benefit from snacking as your blood sugar levels are constantly fluctuating according to what you eat... or don't eat. It also turns out that eating several small meals throughout the day is an exceptional way to maintain a healthy diet, conquer cravings, stay lean, and get all of your daily nutrient requirements.

Here is some info on snacking habits:

1. Eating three meals a day with two or three snacks in
between meals can make your
metabolism more efficient.

It's as if you are continually adding fuel to to the fire
that is your metabolism.
The idea is to never let your energy wane or go without a bite
for so
long that you get ravenous.

2. Snacking helps you eat less at mealtime!

This works especially well between the hours of 2pm and 7pm .
You can have two small
snacks during this period.
You will find you will eat less at dinner.

Choose a snack that has about 100 - 200 calories with a healthy
balance of protein,
carbohydrates, and healthy fat. This combo will balance your blood sugar which will in turn keep you satisfied. * * If your snack is high in refined carbs or sugar,
your blood sugar levels
will jump (yay!) and then crash and burn (yuck!)...
leaving you feeling tired and even more

3. Snacking helps fill your body with your daily vitamin requirements.

This is a huge advantage for most of us as it is extremely
difficult to fulfill our daily
nutrient requirements within 3 meals.
As an example, snack on low fat plain yogurt with a

handful of almonds/walnuts to add additional calcium to your diet
(the nuts add additional protein and fiber). Plus, with this snack
you are getting a perfect ratio of carb/protein/fat.
Also, try to include a fruit or vegetable in
every meal or snack.
Try dipping cucumbers or celery in hummus,
or eat an apple or celery
sticks with your favorite nut butter.
By adding veggies you will consume less calories while
additional antioxidants to your diet. Perfect Combo!

4. Snacking puts you in a good Mood!

This is important for most people. I know it is important for me!
When blood sugar starts to
wane, we can become irritable and have
trouble concentrating. Most of the time we don't
realize our blood sugar
is low, we just think the world around us is exceptionally irritating.
I am a prime example of this: I was recently deemed "snappy" by my
nephew on a morning drive in Hawaii...actually I heard a few cat hiss
sounds from mynephew and my brother as they described my behavior
to our surf instructor that morning. Not flattering, but funny! I had not eaten breakfast yet and it was 9:30 am...apparently not a good combo for me. A few bites of
food brought me back to normal. Next time
you get this feeling stop
and ask yourself when you ate last.
Try a snack that includes the
carb/fat/protein combo.
Your mood will lift and your energy will rise enabling you to tackle
your day....and the people
around you will be much happier and oh so grateful!

Here are a few snack suggestions:

3/4 cup of shelled edamame 150 calories 12 grams of protein

Protein bar choose a bar with a low sugar content and at least 6 grams of protein

Hummus and veggies

Apple with nut butter, or a handful of nuts

Low fat cheese and veggies

Whole grain waffle with nut butter.... One of my FAVS!

Hard Boiled egg

Whole grain bread or english muffin with nut butter

Cottage cheese with fruit and nuts

Start Snacking People!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Healthy Dinner in a snap!

I recently created an easy and healthy dinner for myself that has turned out to be my favorite GO-TO quick meal!

It is simple, quick, healthy, loaded with antioxidants from spinach, and oh so good!

Hope you like spinach.

Judi's Spinach Quesadilla

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach (you can also use regular spinach, just cut it up a bit) Feel free to add as much as you can fit into the tortilla! I add a different amount each time.
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (depending on your love of garlic)
  • 1 whole grain flour tortilla (I use spelt due to a wheat allergy. You can also use brown rice tortilla's if you can't tolerate wheat or spelt)
  • crumbled Feta Cheese
  • sliced, cooked chicken breast and/or * diced Tofu (pick up a pre-cooked roasted chicken from the market. You will be able to create several meals from one chicken!)
  • Fresh Salsa
  • Light Sour Cream or * My FAV... Toffutti Sour cream

Finely chop the garlic. Saute the garlic with a tablespoon of Olive Oil. Add the spinach to the pan and saute until it starts to soften. (If you are adding diced Tofu...add it with the spinach). Once the spinach looks wilted it is ready!
*You can always add additional veggies. Think about some of your favorites and decide if they might taste good with this combo. I could imagine adding: red peppers, sliced onions, or maybe thin sliced kale.

Spread the spinach mixture on half of the tortilla. Top with the sliced chicken and a small amount of feta cheese. (If you are allergic to dairy, try a tasty soy or almond cheese!)

Fold the tortilla in half over the spinach/chicken/cheese combo. Place the tortilla in the saute pan, which should already have enough olive oil from the spinach saute to brown the quesadilla...if not, add a small amount.

Brown both sides. Cut the quesadilla in half. Top with salsa and sour cream! Yum!

Serve this with a large bowl of Salad tossed with more of your favorite vegetables. You could add
cucumbers, tomatoes, thin sliced kale, sprouts, carrots.... you get the idea! The more the better.
The best dressing is truly just a little olive oil and fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Keeps the calorie count down as long as you don't add too much oil.

You will find this to be a quick and healthy meal for yourself or as an easy dish for friends and family!

If you are serving it to a group: set out the Sour Cream, Salsa, and maybe some Cilantro into small cute serving bowls so everyone can add their own toppings...makes it more festive.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I am a huge fan of skin lotion. All types: body lotion, face lotion, foot lotion. All of my friends tease me about this...or just give me some sort of lotion for birthday knowing I will be in Heaven! I think this started because I grew up in the High Desert of California and I tend to have dry skin. Not a good combo.

I am constantly on the hunt for "The Best" lotion Products at preferably a decent price. As I began to explore and discover the world of natural and organic food, I found myself interested in natural body products as well. I have come to realize that many body products contain chemicals that can have adverse effects on our disrupting our hormone levels! Who needs that? Our hormones fluctuate enough on their own. The idea is to nurture their balance, not present our bodies with a chemical that will interrupt their natural rhythm.

So, my NEW find:
Burt's Bees Beeswax and Banana Hand Creme. It comes in a jar. It is amazing! It is completely free from hormone disrupting or cancer promoting chemicals, smells fantastic, and has a rich creamy texture that somehow does not leave excess grease on your hands. It costs about $8 a jar, but it will last for a long time! I found mine at
CVS pharmacy!

Pick up a jar and let me know what you think.

Happy Fourth of July!